and Fun Things to do
Whether this is your first time on the Island, or you are a regular visitor, you may enjoy browsing through our extensive list of ideas for fun things to do. Perhaps you are happy just to soak up some sun, beachcomb a little, read and lounge around on a deck and do nothing at all for a change. If, however, your idea of a vacation is to be active and renew your sense of adventure and excitement, you have a hankering to exercise, want to see something new, socialize, do something special with the kids, learn a new skill, plan a special dinner outing - no matter what, you will find plenty of choices to fulfill every desire. Since each Island Town has something unique to offer and it only takes about 25-30 minutes by car from one end of the Island to the other, we listed in alphabetical order all the activities that we have found to be interesting and rewarding.
Flying over the Islands is a breathtakingly beautiful experience.
For an unforgettable flight, charter a bi-plane . For $99.00 for 2 strap on your leather cap and goggles and take a flight into yesterday. Call the Katama Airfield at 508-627-9018.
Just about every Town on the Island has one or more Art Galleries. Throughout the season, there are many openings and shows open to the public. This is also a great way to meet Islanders and deepen your understanding of the Vineyard. Islanders support and nourish their local community of artists. A visit to our galleries can be truly enlightening. Look for announcements of art openings and exhibits in our local papers.
Art Instruction and Schools
The Featherstone Center for the Arts on Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs offers classes in a variety of mediums, watercolor, oil painting, sculpture and photography throughout the year. contact them at 508-693-1850. They also show art at all times, and it is a wonderful place to visit.
Artisans Festival and Crafts Fairs, Fleamarkets
The West Tisbury Agriculture Hall hosts Artisans and Crafts Fairs on a regular basis. for more information call 508-693-8989
Chilmark holds a weekly fleamarket offering lots of things new and old and a large arts and craft selection. Near Beetlebung Corner on Middle Road.
Bicycles and Bicycling
If biking is your passion, you're in the right place. The Island ahs a great network of bike paths, the longest between the Town of Edgartown and West Tisbury, miles and miles of safe. beautiful paths through the State forest. If you cannot bring your own bike, there are plenty of places to rent from:
All of them provide free delivery and pickup.
- Cutler Bike Rentals: Specialty bikes 508-627-4052
- Edgartown Bike Rentals: 508-627-4052
- Craigs Bicycles" 508-693-8693
Excursions & Sightseeing
While you are here, don't miss out on spending a day on the water. You'll feel refreshed and invigorated while out on the ocean. Take the whole family on a sailing trip, charter a small craft, or book a fishing charter with one of the Island's best captains.
- Rent a boat: Call Book-a-boat at 508-645-2400
- Book a Sail: Island Classic Charters @ 508-645-2889
- Catamarans: The 50ft. Arabella sails from Menemsha Village to Cuttihunk daily. They also offer a wonderful 2 hour sunset trip or a private charter: for more information call 508-645-3511
- Fishing Charters: There is nothing like the excitement and exhilaration of a trip on a fast sportfishing boat to catch big bass or bluefish. Also offering tuna trips during the months July and August. For more information go to www.captvanderhoop.com or call 508-645-9278.
You will find that this is one of the most childfriendly places and activities for kids abound: The beach is the perfect playground with the biggest sandbox in the world, and beachcombing for shells, buoys and drift wood is a great way to unwind and relax, with the added reward of taking home your treasures. Of course all kids love our Oak Bluffs Flying Horses Carousel, another favorite is Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Operated by the Audubon Society, Felix Neck is a refuge for multitudes of birds. A visit there is a truly educational experience, a place to see small living creatures such as turtles, frogs and snakes and a display of many nature artifacts, ancient whale bones etc. plus there's a sweet little gift shop on the premises, and of course there are beautiful wide trails across fields, along the shore, and through the woods. Kids would love any of our beautiful walking trails around the Island. Most are established by our Land Bank or by the Trustees of Reservation. Just drive along any Island Road and look for their signs. Menemsha Beach and Harbor is the perfect place for kids to play, fish for squid with little nets and to experience the bustle and hustle of a working fishermen's harbor. There are plenty of boats to see. Boating and/or fishing should be at the top of your to do list with the little ones. There are also numerous excellent camps for half or full fun filled days. Check our newspapers for listings at MV Times or the Vineyard Gazette. Many of the Towns run summer camps offering all kinds of great activities such as swimming, sailing, windsurfing, theater, dance etc. For something to do with kids on a rainy day Check out beading listed under Jewelry making.
The Island has much to offer to dancers of all skill levels and styles. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, African, Hip Hop, instruction is offered by Vineyard Dance and Kelly Peters Dance, The Yard in Chilmark, and in Edgartown Danceworks. Check your yellow pages under Dance Instruction. Frequent performances are held throughout
the season, advertised in our local papers.
Most of the Vineyard nightlife and after-dinner activities can be found in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Oak Bluffs has several clubs, bars and dance clubs. For more information check the local newspapers
Bear in mind that Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are the only towns on the Vineyard where alcohol is served and sold. The other towns are considered "dry towns" . When you dine at any dry town restaurant, you may bring your own bottle of wine or beer. This is standard practice and is expected and it actually saves you some money, since you are not charged the bottle price at restaurants. You may also call for free delivery from our local liquor stores. Our Market at 508-693-3500 or Jims at 508-693-0236
The Island is a Fisherman's dream. Any of our major beaches allow shore fishing. Favorite spots are Wasque on Chappaquiddick, Aquinnah Lobsterville Beach and Dogfish Bar or the Jetties in Chilmark.
- For Boat fishing see boats above or go to www.captvanderhoop.com
- For Kids fishing or group angling see The Skipper out of Oak Bluffs, at 508-693-1238.
- For Guided Tours contact Ken Vanderlaske at 508-696-7551 an expert flyfisherman and excellent guide.
A visit at Glassworks in West Tisbury is a truly wonderful experience where you may even see glass blown while you visit. This is near Humphrey's Bakery where you may easily get addicted to their Crème filled donuts, also across the street is the Old Oak Tree, an impressive ancient oak that should definitely be a part of every Vineyard Photo tour.
Public Golf Courses: Mink Meadows in Vineyard Haven, call 508-693-0600 or visit www.minkmeadows.com Vineyard Golf Club Edgartown: 508-627-8930 Farm Neck Golf Club Oak Bluffs: 508-693-3057
Houses and House Tours
For some extraordinary excitement, don't miss out on the haunted house tour. You will be amazed at how deeply ingrained this part of Island History really is. You will get to see some of the oldest historic homes, while listening to stories that are simply incredible. Haunted House tours are advertised in local newspapers.
The Martha's Vineyard Arena is open year-round and is located in Oak Bluffs on Vineyard Haven/Edgartown Road across from the Highschool call 508-693-4438.
The Health club at the Airport in West Tisbury offers Personal Training, Kickboxing, aerobics, step, toning, weight training, etc. For more information visit the Vineyard Tennis Center at www.vineyardtenniscenter.com or call 508-696-8000. Triangle Fitness in Edgartown for all of the above 508-627-3393 and in Vineyard Haven, visit the Mansion House Health Fitness Club and Spa or call 508-693-2200. For Yoga etc. call 508-696-0444.
For wonderful fresh vegetables and organic foods the Island has a great variety of roadside stands and a large selection of choices in our local grocery stores. The best place to shop for everything is Supernatural Healthfood store in Vineyard Haven on State Road. The Farmers Market in West Tisbury is another excellent source for everything you need that is fresh, organically and locally grown: Every Wednesday and Saturday.
What better way to spend the afternoon with your children than to indulge them in making their own jewelry. Visit Beadniks in Vineyard Haven for a selection of every imaginable kind of bead and supplies to make jewelry yourself. Their huge selection of beads and gift items is worth a stop. Call 508-696-7609.
Each Island Town has it's own wonderful library. for more information check your telephone directory. All the Libraries on the Island also offer video tapes and DVD's to keep you entertained on rainy days or movie nights in.
While you are here, you cannot leave out the Lobster dinner. Whether you purchase your lobster at the local fishmarket to prepare at home or you go out to one of the many seafood restaurants, you will find that this the quintessential Vineyard thing to eat. You may even join those who prefer to eat their Lobster while sitting on a Lobster Crate at the Menemsha Harbor, and order their seafood dinner right from the back door of Larsen's Fishmarket, and eat while enjoying the ambiance of the harbor view and the Giant Old Fishing Trawler Quitsa Strider. Others take their seafood right down to Menemsha Beach for an unsurpassed sunset picnic. Come early for a good parking space.
Martha's Vineyard Historical Society in Edgartown. A must see 508-627-4441
During the summer months and year round the Island has a thriving Music scene. Particularly Folk music can be heard at many nightspots and local restaurants. For lovers of Classical music, the Island has plenty of events and concerts. There is also a good Jazz scene with many great artists and performers. In Oak Bluffs the Atlantic Connection features many artists and so does the Hot Tin Roof at the Airport. Just check the local papers for upcoming performances and featured artists
Oh to fly like a bird in the sky with the wind, and be safely roped in.
Take any Vineyard Nature Trail bringing along your camera, you will not regret it. Bring your camera with you wherever you go, the Vineyard is so beautiful. Your pictures will be amazing, may your memories live on.
With the exception of a few, all of the Island eateries are good. But there is a special Pizza Place in Oak Bluffs: POMODORO at the end of circuit Ave on the right. For a list of Restaurants just look in your yellow pages. The list is huge.
Visit the skateboard park next to the Ice Arena on Vineyard Haven Edgartown Road across from the Highschool.
Many Towns on the Vineyard have public Tennis Courts. Check with the local Town Halls or Park Departments. The Tennis Club at the Airport offers instruction and their courts are excellent. Some rental homes on our list come with private tennis courts or have tennis courts in the neighborhood association. For more information call 1.508.645.7820.
Other watersports available on the Island are: Watertubing, waterskiing, kayak rentals , canoeing, crewed yacht charters etc. For more call 508-645-2400 or Wind's Up at 508-6934340. For guided kayak tours contact the Trustees of reservation: call 508-693-7392.
Wind's up offers windsurfing lessons and equipment rentals. 508-693-4252 or visit www.windsupmv.com
I sincerely hope that your stay on the Vineyard will be as fulfilling and wonderful as it has been for me. Living here year-round for over 20 years, I have grown deeply attached to the beauty of nature, the peace and quiet and the friendly people here. I have never had a boring moment, even though it is such a small place and there is not much going on during the winter months. Somehow, less becomes more and one gets accustomed to creating ones own entertainment. After a while you develop a resourcefulness in that regard. I hope that our list of activities will give you some inspiration and that you will find a piece of what this Island is about and take it with you forever and when the time comes, return to our shores.